2018 to be 'Tipping Point' for LNG Bunkers: SGMF
The year 2018 will be the “tipping point" for gas-fuelled shipping, Mark Bell, general manager of the Society Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) said last month.
“I have been asked many times recently 'When will be the tipping point for gas-fuelled shipping?' and I believe that in the future when we look back there won’t have been any specific moment we can point to. What I do think there will have been is an entire year – and that 'tipping year' is surely going to be 2018,” he wrote in a summary of developments during 2017 on December 21.
Last year saw significant growth in SGMF membership as it welcomed 22 new members including Yamal LNG's operator Novatek, Russian shipowner Sovcomflot, Qatar Petroleum, Woodside and the cruise operator Royal Caribbean, taking the total number of members to 126 (see graphic below). SGMF promotes safety and industry best practice and encourages training within the industry; it is seen more as a technical than lobbying group. It said the number of ports supplying LNG as a marine fuel had grown to 46, with six LNG bunkering vessels now operating, and 119 LNG-fuelled ships already in operation.
“We have witnessed such significant increase in the number of projects and infrastructure recently and this is undoubtedly something we can all further look forward to as the greater maritime industry begins to embrace our message and realise the tremendous benefits of gas-fuelled shipping,” Bell further wrote.
In October 2016, the UN's International Maritime Organisation decided to implement a global 0.5% sulphur cap on bunker fuels on January 1 2020, giving LNG a boost as an ultra-low emission fuel worldwide.